Junior year offers opportunity for independence
With the start of this school year, I am officially an upperclassman at Rensselaer. Saying this out loud has been hard for me. Everytime I go to tell someone my class year, I hesitate and almost blurt out “sophomore.” I have two whole years left on campus, but it seems shorter and every move I make seems to count more now. Of course, not everything about entering my junior year has me feeling uneasy. There are pros and cons, just as there are for any situation.
For the first time, I am living off campus in my own apartment. While I still have a roommate, I finally have my own room; this has given me a sense of having my own little bubble which I haven’t felt since high school. I didn’t realize how much sharing a room has made me feel trapped. Don’t get me wrong, I love both my friends I have lived with last year, but personal space is really nice. Arguably, the biggest benefit of living off campus is having my own kitchen. I can finally cater my meals to what I actually want to eat. While I’m still on a small meal plan, I appreciate always having the option of cooking for myself everyday. These perks of being off campus definitely outweigh the few negatives there are to being further away from campus. To anyone unsure of whether to move off campus or not, I would highly recommend it. You will gain more independence, and will feel better about handling things on your own.
Aside from my living situation, junior year has presented itself as presumably an academic heavy and career-focused year for me. I received a scholarship over the summer to attend the upcoming Grace Hopper Conference in Texas. While I am really excited for this opportunity, it seems too soon for employers to already want me for a full-time position. I still have two years left at school, and surely a lot of skills left to learn. Nonetheless, this conference will be a great exposure to the numerous career paths within my major. I am excited to meet other women in technology and just feel captivating energy. This is a conference that, in my opinion, every woman in computer science should attend.
To anyone who might feel like I do, remember that you can take it one day at a time; this will help you not feel as overwhelmed. Trust me, I do this and I feel a lot better. I may not want to admit that I’m on the closer end to graduation—it feels sudden, but it’s something I can’t avoid and honestly shouldn’t. Hiding from the present will only limit the opportunities available to me, and that’s not how I want to remember my time at RPI.